Home

Media Correspondence

Daily Telegraph 14.3.03 The Welfare of Deer, Foxes and Hares (added 8.4.05)

BRITISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT - Correspondence

Letters to the Editor
The Daily Telegraph
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT

14th March 2003

Dear Sir

The Welfare of Deer Foxes and Hares

Lord Donoughue's Private Members Bill is criticised by the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (letter Mar 13). However it sets out sensible proposals, which will facilitate great improvements to be made for the welfare of the deer, fox and hare, contrary to the Governments confrontational Hunting Bill, which, for the time being, gives diplomatic immunity to the shooting lobby.

By seeking amendments to The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 making it unlawful for anyone to intentionally inflict undue or unnecessary suffering, and to treat all mammals equally, emphasis can placed on ensuring that crucial humane and efficient species management, is conducted under sensible and popular codes of conduct, without animal rights disruption.

The Labour Government's 1951 Scott Henderson Inquiry in Cruelty to Wild Animals within Clause 97 stated:

We think that persons who shoot at animals without exercising due care or making an attempt to follow those which are wounded, thereby causing unnecessary suffering, should be liable to prosecution.

In reality most shooting of deer, foxes and hares is conducted without an effective means of following up, and this long neglected issue is covered up by both sides of the debate, including the RSPCA, who now turn a blind eye to wounding and casualty rates for political reasons, reversing earlier policies.

The need for shooting to be fully integrated with the wide range of hunting methods, which ensure that wounded animals can be effectively followed up, is fundamental to the future of shooting sports. Provision within Codes of Good Shooting Practice for following up, and the compulsory and regular scent hound and terrier work to assist in the location and dispatch of the sick, the weak and injured, in order that natural suffering to be curtailed is also long overdue.

The time has come for shooting, hunting, and Government to work together under the wildlife welfare and management banner, to place the interests of our precious wildlife before selfish and ignorant political considerations.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.

Daily Telegraph 29.3.03 Hunting & Politics (added 8.4.05)

BRITISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT - Correspondence

Letters to the Editor
The Daily Telegraph
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT
29th March 200

Dear Sir,

Hunting and Politics

Serena Soames is right to illustrate Alun Michael's failure to absorb any of the arguments presented during the committee stage of the disastrous Hunting Bill (letter July 28th). He has simply followed established political strategy of going through the motions of consultations, without providing Parliament and the public with the facts, thereby misleading them.

He has ignored the proof of least suffering in hunting, presented by British Wildlife Management. He has given diplomatic immunity to the shooting lobby, refusing to look at the facts on wounding. He has ignored the obvious responsibilities and duties towards the following up of the wounded and other casualties. A welfare function considered essential by the veterinary profession.

He claimed on BBC Newsnight on 3rd December 2002 that: I want to irradicate cruelty - This is what it is about. The transparent truth is that he has acted without principles or integrity of process. Too many strings were attached to Labour's manifesto commitment for a free vote on hunting, to allow a clear duty and obligation to identify the most humane methods of culling, and the most suitable methods of managing deer, foxes, hares and mink.

The Burns Inquiry was commissioned by Government, so that Parliament and the public could be properly informed on the facts of Hunting with Dogs. Those directly involved know that much of the important evidence did not reach the research contractors, or the Inquiry team, and that the whole process was rushed through, preventing the proper analysis of the facts.

Contract 7, dealing with Animal Welfare, required the comparative suffering issues to be properly addressed. The excuse for not doing so was based on the claim by Burns that there was insufficient information on wounding rates, and a recommendation that further research be undertaken to clarify this and other key issues.

So much concern was expressed on the misuse of the Burns Inquiry conclusions by the RSPCA, that clear statements were made in the Lords hunting debate by Lord Burns and Lord Soulsby qualifying the Burns Report conclusions. These recommendations and qualifications were ignored by Alun Michael.

Recent research on wounding for the Middle Way Group and by Urquhart & McKendrick, further support the data used in the comparative measurement of suffering, and proof of least suffering in hunting, presented by British Wildlife Management.

The use of the Parliament Act, to facilitate legislation harmful to wildlife and people, flouts our unwritten Constitutional Law, which has protected our nation from the abuses of Parliamentary power since the civil war.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.

Daily Telegraph 30.4.05 Shooting, wounding and camel control (added 30.4.05)

Animal welfare organisation recognises fundamental principle

From Letter to the Daily Telegraph Friday, April 29, 2005-04-29

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) contribution to correspondence states concern that "sharpshooters will be hunting camels in South Australia" because, "It is Impossible to ensure that animals are killed instantly . . . many will be severely wounded of suffer slow and painful deaths."

This condemnation of shooting continues "It is totally unacceptable for this to be justified on the grounds of it being the simplest, quickest or most cost effective way of dealing with camels encroaching on farms."

This is one of the fundamental principles the proves hunting with hounds to be more humane than shooting as a population management technique.


The following response was sent to the Daily Telegraph and copied to British Wildlife Management:
CANTERBURY, Kent

30.4.05

Dear Sir,

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) (letters 29.4.05) recognises that shooting inevitably results in some wounding and that methods employed in animal population management cannot be justified by their simplicity or cost effectiveness. It is good to read that an Animal Welfare organisation recognises one of the fundamental reasons why hunting with hounds is a more humane option than the principle alternative. British Wildlife Management (www.britishwildlifemanagement.org) has long provided the scientific background to this as a basis of its "Welfare Equation". Can we look forward to WSPA also condemning the Hunting Act as a law that increases animal suffering?

Yours sincerely,

Nick Onslow

 

Daily Telegraph 3.10.04 Hunting Husbandry (added 8.4.05)

BRITISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT - Correspondence

 

Letters to the Editor
The Daily Telegraph
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT

3rd October 2004

Dear Sir,

Hunting Husbandry

RSPCA comment (letters 2nd October) on weak hunting husbandry arguments, quoting a passage from Burns, ignores established MAAF research, quoted before the appointment of Minister Elliot Morley, that in the event of a ban, alternative means would be required to control 100,000 foxes. This fact is supported by my research submissions to Ministers, emphasizing the husbandry needs of all species that foxes eat or kill, but establishing that there are no satisfactory alternative means.

Some 150 farmers gun packs in British upland areas, by popular demand rely on experienced older foxhounds, skilled terrier work and shotguns, and are usually the only acceptable means of fox control. Operating outside the recognition of the MFHA, they cull more foxes than the recognized hunts. Scent hound and terrier use leaves no wounded or casualties. Recognized packs provide the unique selective husbandry system, giving the best prospect of an instantaneous death, and leaving a high percentage of well dispersed healthy mature survivors.

RSPCA promote shooting with rifle and shotgun. The ban will remove the only effective means of following up wounded, the crucial casualty search and dispatch functions of scent hounds, and the terrier work, which ensures fox cubs do not starve to death when parents are shot. These roles are encouraged in Scotland.

The RSPCA and Ministers have refused to accept the Burns cruelty conclusion, qualifications that a compromise of welfare was only found in the terminal stages of the hunt, and that the Burn Committee required further research, including confirmation of accurate wounding rates.

The incomplete Burns Inquiry Animal Welfare Contract 7 and Government Hearings can now be re-visited, with the benefit of subsequent realistic behavioural evidence, and accurate wounding rates from the Middle Way Group (foxes and hares) and Urquhart and McKendrick (red deer). This allows the measurements of comparative suffering between hunting and shooting to be properly verified, by the simple sums of the welfare equation, featured within Contact 7.

The resulting proof of least suffering demonstrates that hunting is more humane than shooting by a factor of at least 10 on culling comparisons, and by a factor of at least 100, when all the species management, or husbandry factors, are properly considered.

The ministers can no longer give diplomatic immunity to the shooting lobby, and should report the welfare equation evidence to Parliament and public as the truth. They should also explain the critical importance of husbandry as opposed to the neglect advocated by the RSPCA.

Yours sincerely,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management

E-mails regarding the DEfRA Badgers and TB Consultation (added 8.3.06)

BRITISH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT - Correspondence
DEfRA TB in Badgers - the Consultation


Subject:    RE: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TB ISSUES

Mr Marriage,

We are not at liberty to disclose the name of the research agency that will
be carrying out the citizens panels.
bTB Wildlife Policy Team
-----Original Message-----
From:    Edmund Marriage [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    08 February 2006 10:55
To:    bTB Consultation (AHTBD)
Subject:    RE: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TB ISSUES


Many thanks - would you mind telling me the name of the research agency.
Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.
-----Original Message-----
From:    bTB Consultation (AHTBD) [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    Wednesday, February 08, 2006 10:09 AM
To:    'Edmund Marriage'
Subject:    RE: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TB ISSUES



Mr Marriage
The citizens Panels will be organised run by a Research agency who will
select participants so that they are representative of the population.
Appropriately Defra will not be involved in the selection of participants.
Informed public opinion will be obtained through Citizens panels and through
the extensive responses we have had to the consultation.
Regards
bTB Wildlife Policy Team
-----Original Message-----
From:    Edmund Marriage [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    02 February 2006 18:02
To:    bTB Consultation (AHTBD)
Subject:    RE: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TB ISSUES


Many thanks - Please will you inform me of the locations and dates of the
series of citizen panels to be held nearer the end of the consultation, to
seek informed public opinion on the issue.
Where do you expect to find informed public opinion ?
Kind regards,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management
-----Original Message-----
From:    bTB Consultation (AHTBD) [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    Thursday, February 02, 2006 3:44 PM
To:    'Edmund Marriage'
Subject:    RE: WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TB ISSUES

Mr Marriage,
Thank you for your query regarding the consultation on badger culling for
the purposes of controlling bovine TB in high incidence areas in England.
Any comments/queries you have on this consultation should be directed to bTB
Consultation, either by email (to this address) or in writing to bovine TB
and badgers consultation, Defra, 1A Page Street, SW1P 4PQ. The consultation
team read and log all responses to the consultation, responding to any
queries. The analysis of the consultation will be carried out and published
on Defra's website.
We are taking a number of measures to engage both the public and
stakeholders during the consultation, including the Annual Bovine TB
Conference on the 6th and a series of citizens panels held nearer the end of
the consultation to seek informed public option on the issue.
We are aware that a number of stakeholder groups will be holding regional
meetings to inform their response to the consultation.
Regards
bTB Wildlife Policy Team
-----Original Message-----
From:    Edmund Marriage [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    02 February 2006 10:27
To:    bTB Consultation (AHTBD)
Subject:    WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND RELATED TB ISSUES


Please will you confirm or deny the existence of regional seminars to allow
representations to be made on proposals both for the removal of all
reservoirs of TB infection as recommended by the ISG last week, and for the
humane and competent professional management of the uncontrolled badger
population.
Please can you identify who will be accepting and reading the written
submissions, where they should be sent, and who are the senior Defra staff
involved in advising Government Ministers on the TB and Wildlife Management
related issues.
Kind regards,

Edmund Marriage.
-----Original Message-----
From:    Filley, Teresa (AHTBD) [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    Friday, January 20, 2006 11:47 AM
To:    'Edmund Marriage'
Subject:    RE: FIRST ANNUAL BOVINE TB MEETING FOR GREAT BRITAIN

Dear Mr Marriage,
thank you for your email of 17 January.  I attach a response from TB
Communications Unit.
regards
Teresa Filley
TB Communications Unit
20 January 2006



-----Original Message-----
From:    Edmund Marriage [mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]
Sent:    17 January 2006 16:54
To:    tb, comms (AHADC)
Cc:    Ben Bradshaw; Jim Knight; Secretariat - PUS (Lords) (Secretariat);
    Secretariat - Secretary of State (Secretariat); Ainsworth, Helen (AHTBD);
    Arkle, Tanya (EW); Gross, K (GOV); John Gallagher; David Denny;
    Twink Allen
Subject:    FIRST ANNUAL BOVINE TB MEETING FOR GREAT BRITAIN


Dear Organisers,
I have today received an invitation to the above event to be held on 6th
March, I am concerned that the Wildlife and Conservation perspective is
being presented by a speaker from the Badger Trust, who are clearly in the
business of protecting species, rather than considering the management and
welfare needs of all our precious wildlife, especially those predated by
uncontrolled badgers.
We are now at a crossroads where Government has accommodated Animal Rights
organisations in supporting protection policies, but is now faced with the
prospect of explaining to the British public the massive ecological and
health problems that protection policies have caused, together with
unprecedented unnecessary cost.
The NFU is well equipped to present the case for the farming industry, but
is not able to present the crucial case for wildlife welfare and management,
which involves specialist knowledge and skills in removing reservoirs of
infection, controlling  badger numbers and establishing a healthy population
of badgers in balance with other important species.
British Wildlife Management is the only organisation able and willing to
support the Government on the wildlife management and welfare issues, in
order that the Badger/TB problems can eventually be properly and rapidly
resolved.
For this reason I ask that I am allowed to speak at this meeting and be
given the same length of time to that allocated to the Badger Trust, to
balance the debate on the grossly neglected wildlife welfare and management
issues.
Background Long Established Realities.
Bovine TB is a serious infectious disease of badgers, which also affects
other wildlife, cattle, and has potential human health risks.  This has
become a very serious problem, directly as result of Badger Protection
legislation, which has removed the necessary controls on badger numbers.  As
with most species on the planet, overcrowding leads to more competition for
food, poor accommodation, under nourishment, susceptibility to parasites and
disease, and subsequent death from the build up of life threatening
parasites or infections.
The very significant increase in badger numbers has resulted in an unhealthy
badger population creating more reservoirs of infection, which greatly
contribute to the spread of the disease to other species.  Because old and
sick badgers are pushed out to the outer limits of group territory, by
younger members of their families, a relatively small increase of badger
numbers, provides a significantly higher risk of infecting livestock, where
they come into contact in the same habitat. The old sick badgers will tend
to be the first to look to share food and water with cattle, thereby
directly planting infected material amongst otherwise healthy animals.  The
management neglect at the League Against Cruel Sports red deer Sanctuary at
Dulverton is very good example of deteriorating health, leading to high
infection of TB in a situation where overcrowding is allowed to take place.
A Government supported Wildlife Management Strategy is the only possible
successor to the range of failed Wildlife Protection schemes put in place by
so called conservation organisations.
Government must grasp the Wildlife Management message in order to get the
public on their side on a wide range of what can only be good management
practices, which include killing both sick and healthy badgers.  Protection
equates with the neglect which has unnecessarily created the current
catastrophe.
We have a duty of care to deploy mans benevolent guiding hand to manage all
around us to the highest standards. The public will support this strategy if
it is put over clearly.
Attendance of the ISG Meeting, the Bovine TB meeting, and full involvement
in the proposed consultation, by rural vets and wildlife managers, become
critical in getting the public support in changing current academic thinking
and reversing many disastrous trends.
This will include as a priority, persuading the public that too many badgers
are very bad indeed for many other wonderful species, whose very existence
they threaten.
Above all we need to restore best practice in managing badger populations,
which means as far as possible killing them selectively and humanely using
specialists under licence.
We have the skills and capability to set a much better example in Britain,
than that in other countries where badger digging is licensed.  This can be
delivered at low cost.
Kind regards,

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management
www.britishwildlifemanagement.org
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) This email and
any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.  If you have
received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store or copy
any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.  Whilst
this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known
viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility once it
has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded
to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful
purposes.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.  If
you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store
or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded
to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful
purposes.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.  If
you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store
or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded
to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful
purposes.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.  If
you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store
or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded
to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful
purposes.

Go to top